When a prophet makes a call to repentance, generally, there are sins that the prophet is calling the hearer to forsake. And, as often happens in early May, there was often a call for my country to repent.
From what sins?
“You shall have no other gods before me."
Well, 70% of our nation self-identifies as Christian, so we're good on that, right?
Depends on whether we interpret that as which deity we call God or on who or what we Americans place our reliance.
“You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the
LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name."
As a nation, we claim to trust in God, but we don't. We trust in our guns, our economy, our rights, our traditions. And our churches and politicians are full of contradictory policies and prophecies, because that's what God said. But if it's God speaking, wouldn't it be with one voice, telling the body one thing? Somebody has their own ego and dreams and philosophy mixed up with the Word of God...and somebody is misleading the flock.
"Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy."
Between commerce, entertainment, and sports, we've reached the point where Sunday is different - slightly - but not set apart. Various surveys tell us that only 35-40% of Americans attend church on any given Sunday...meaning that even half of us are ignoring the admonition to not forsake the assembling of the brethren. And this fall - like every fall, we'll spend two hours in church, and ten hours watching St. Drew, Brother Rodgers, and Brady's bunch.
“Honor your father and your mother"
Every generation claims that their children are the worst behaved brats to ever see daylight. I don't know on this one.
But just as Jesus told the woman at the well, "you spoke well that you have no husband", today's prophet would say "you have no father..." ...
“You shall not murder."
There is blood on our hands.
The blood of the unborn slaughtered in the name of convenience.
The blood of the refugees and collateral damage from our war on terror, slaughtered in the name of security.
The blood of the blacks from the slave ships to the plantations, from the victims of the Klan to Trayvon.
The blood of our murdered brothers in this country, gunned down at a far more lethal rate than the other rich nations (whether due to the violence of the culture, or the availability of guns, or the prevalence of drugs, or...)
The blood of the native Americans, slaughtered and repatriated in the name of Manifest Destiny.
And the list goes on...
"You shall not commit adultery."
In less than a century, we have redefined marriage from "until death do us part" to "as long as we avoid 'irreconcilable differences', immersed our culture in lust and porn so deep that Corinth would blush, and experimented with the sexual ethic of consenting adults ... with a harvest of confusion, fatherlessness, divorce, and disaster. And Ashley Madison.
“You shall not steal."
Some of my friends would yell, "income inequality and corporations." Others would say "fiat money, inflation, and taxation".
“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor."
The trolling. The bullying. The exclusion. The alienation. The gossip. And when it fits our team's worldview...We almost don't care if it's true or not, we post first, fact check later...if ever.
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
Our nation has built itself on an economy of out-doing the Jones es. Bigger tv's, bigger cars, bigger houses, newer phones...
Maybe we need to stop calling ourselves a Christian nation.